Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


Stressed? A Quick and Easy Way to Relax

posted by Linda Mintle

The next time you feel tension creeping into your body, try this:

If you, like millions of Americans, feel stressed out and in need of a long vacation you can’t afford to take, don’t sweat it. There is a lot you can do to de-stress yourself.  Keep in mind that the opposite of tension and stress is relaxation. Relaxation comes in many forms. Sometimes it has to be learned and practiced.

For example, if you grew up in a home with an alcoholic or abusive parent,  you may not even realize that your body has carried physically tension for years. Alcoholic/abusive parents can create uptight kids. Kids never know when the alcoholic/abuser will be available, angry, critical, physical, kind or calm. This unpredictable pattern creates a tense child–always waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop. Tension becomes a learned state of living. Many of these adult children need to teach their bodies how to relax.

Here is an easy way to learn to relax. Before you begin, try to rate the level of tension in your body from zero (no tension– you are probably dead) to 100 (this much tension will kill you).

Now, take deep breaths – When you are tense, breathing often becomes short and rapid. It tends to originate in the chest. Some people even hyperventilate which can lead to panic. Breathing should come from the abdomen, not the chest. If you are unsure, place your hand on your abdomen, take a breath and see if your hand moves. If you don’t feel an in and out motion, chances are you are breathing from your chest and throat.

When you concentrate on taking deep, slow breathes, you supply more oxygen to the brain and muscle system. You stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms you. Taking deep breaths can help you clear your mind. Try to concentrate on your body. Try to inhale slowly through the nose and let the air go down low. Pause and slowly exhale through your nose or mouth.

Do this over and over, about 10 times. When you practice deep breathing three or four times a day, you will catch yourself breathing incorrectly and teach your body to breathe correctly. The good thing about this form of relaxation is that it is free, easy to do and can be done anywhere. You can be in the middle of a crowd, start feeling tense and take a number of deep slow breaths to calm down. Or you can be alone in the house and practice.

After you have practiced this exercise a few times, rate the level of tension in your body again on that 0-100 scale. The number should be lower. If not, you need more practice. The more often you sense stress in your body, the more you can apply this technique. So next time you feel tension creeping into your body, take a deep breath and relax!

 

 

For more help, Click on the book cover above, Dr. Linda’s Breaking Free from Stress



Previous Posts

4 Ways to Cultivate An Attitude of Gratitude
There is a great deal of entitlement in our culture. Daily, we are reminded as to what we deserve. Humility seems to be a lost character trait in a celebrity culture. So how can you intentionally develop an attitude of gratitude? Try these ideas every day, not just at Thanksgiving. 1) Write do

posted 6:00:58am Nov. 26, 2014 | read full post »

10 Ways to Encourage Your Partner to Go to Couple Therapy
"Our marriage needs help but my husband won't go to therapy." I've heard this statement often and it is usually filled with frustration, sadness and sometimes anger. A relationship is in trouble but one spouse refuses to get help. If a marriage is going to be helped, both people need to go t

posted 6:00:16am Nov. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Change Whining Into Gratitude
A mom asks: The other day I was so embarrassed because my child whined around when I was trying to talk to another mom. When our children whine, it really bothers us. We want to turn that whining to gratitude. How do we make that happen? When you want to extinguish one behavior and then replac

posted 6:00:32am Nov. 21, 2014 | read full post »

8 Tips for a Better Night's Sleep
Are you irritable? Difficult to live with because you are constantly tired? Time to look at your sleep habits and do something about them. If you are tossing and turning consider these 8 tips: Women take an average of nine minutes to fall asleep at night compared to 23 minutes for men. IF yo

posted 6:00:15am Nov. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Do You Help Your Teen Too Much? Answer These 5 Questions
Julie was handed her biology test in class. While she studied for the test, the material was difficult. When she saw the red C at the top of the exam, she began to cry. Racked with anxiety, she couldn't believe she barely passed the test. The stress overwhelmed her. One has to wonder why? This is

posted 6:00:30am Nov. 18, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.